Potential Exposure to Bats at Overnight Camp Attended by Individuals from Across Ohio

Dear Health/Medical Association Partners,

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) would like to raise awareness among healthcare providers about a potential exposure to bats at a recent overnight camp in Richland County. The camp included attendees from around the state, and local healthcare facilities across Ohio may be affected.

Local health departments are reaching out to affected individuals to conduct risk assessments and are advising those exposed to bats to contact healthcare facilities in their jurisdiction to obtain rabies post-exposure vaccination and human rabies immune globulin (HRIG) as appropriate. This may lead to an uptick in rabies post-exposure vaccination requests in the coming days, and ODH encourages healthcare facilities to work through their normal procurement channels to obtain rabies vaccine and HRIG as needed. In the event there is an urgent unmet need, healthcare facilities should contact their regional healthcare coordinator for assistance in resource sharing.

If individuals present without having previously connected with public health authorities, healthcare providers are advised to conduct a risk assessment. The ODH website includes an online algorithm (odh.ohio.gov/rabiespep) to assist healthcare providers with assessing individual risk. For additional technical assistance, the ODH Zoonotic Disease Program can be reached during business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM, excluding federal holidays) at (614) 752-1029, option 2, or via email at zoonoses@odh.ohio.gov.

In the event of an after-hours emergency, please call 614-722-7221.

Thank you for considering this request to share this information with your members, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Russ Kennedy
Director of Stakeholder Relations
Office of Public Affairs

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